Wednesday, May 05, 2004

Indian Case Study
I still really don't have time for keeping up with the news, but here is some really interesting stuff on the history of globalization. From PBS, of all places. This part is a transcirpt of the episode on capitalist reform in communist and socialist countries in the 70's and 80's. Some quick little bits on India further illustrate that when you put aside rhetoric and look at simple performance, capitalism is far superior to any other system.

Like the Soviet Union, India had used central planning to industrialize its peasant economy and conquer poverty. Now India, like government-dominated economies all over the world, was running into difficulty. [...]
Self-sufficiency was India's ideal
[bad, bad word -- ed.]. To protect its own manufacturing industry, India shut out foreign imports. [...] Take India's beloved Ambassador car. It is made by Hindustan Motors, which started manufacturing in the same year as Japan's Toyota. Fifty years later, Toyota makes five million cars a year. Hindustan sells 18,000 Ambassadors, and still to the same design. [...] Overprotected, over-administered, overplanned, the Permit Raj was quite literally a brake on the Indian economy.

Besides the transcript, they also have video from various Indian economists. For example, Jairam Ramesh describes the aspirations of the central-planning model, its limited accomplishments, and its ultimate failure to satisfy very basic, practical economic needs. Good stuff.

I noticed this at Econopundit.

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